It is hard to put a specific number on the amount of people living with type 2 diabetes in the UK because many people will currently have it without knowing it. That’s because the condition can be subtle or symptomless for many years. Perceptible changes can crop up if rising blood sugar levels – a feature of type 2 diabetes – start to interfere with bodily processes.
Blisters are a perceptible warning sign of blood sugar damage.
The majority of patients with diabetic blisters have pre-existing complications such as nephropathy and neuropathy, explains an article published in the British Journal of Diabetes.
Nephropathy and neuropathy are two common complications associated with blood sugar damage.
How to spot diabetic blisters
It’s rare, but people with diabetes can see blisters suddenly appear on their skin.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), diabetic blisters have the following features:
- You may see a large blister, a group of blisters, or both
- The blisters tend to form on the hands, feet, legs, or forearms
- They look like the blisters that appear after a serious burn
- Unlike the blisters that develop after a burn, these blisters are not painful.
According to the AAD, you should tell your doctor about the blisters.
As the health body explains, you’ll want to take steps to prevent an infection.
General symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling thirsty all the time
- Feeling very tired
- Losing weight without trying to
- Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
- Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
- Blurred vision.
What to expect from your GP appointment
The NHS explains: “Type 2 diabetes is often diagnosed following blood or urine tests for something else.”
According to the health body, what the GP will discuss with you during your appointment depends on the diagnosis and the treatment they recommend.
Generally, they’ll talk to you about:
- What diabetes is
- What high blood sugar means for your health
- Whether you need to take medicine
- Your diet and exercise
- Your lifestyle – for example, alcohol and smoking.
It’s usually difficult to take in everything the GP tells you during the appointment.
“Talk to family and friends about what the GP told you, and write down any questions you have,” advises the NHS.
What happens next
Following a formal diagnosis, a GP will usually recommend lifestyle changes to lower high blood sugar levels.
There are two key components to blood sugar control – diet and exercise.
There’s nothing you cannot eat if you have type 2 diabetes, but you’ll have to limit certain foods.
Carbohydrate foods are broken down quickly by your body and cause a rapid increase in blood sugar.
The worst offenders are those that rank high on the glycaemic index (GI).
The GI is a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates – it shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar (glucose) level when that food is eaten on its own.
High GI foods include:
- Sugar and sugary foods
- Sugary soft drinks
- White bread
- White rice.